The Holy Spirit is the “Sanctifier”, “The Sweet Guest of the soul”, “the Counselor and the Consoler”;   He is also  “The Finger of God and the Breath of God”.  Moreover, other names for the Holy Spirit are “The Interior Master/Teacher” as well as the “Faithful Friend”.  Finally, the Holy Spirit is “Uncreated love”. In the sublime mystery of the Blessed Trinity,  The Father loves the Son and the Son reciprocates by loving the Father ; the Holy Spirit is the mutual love that binds the Father and the Son.   The Holy Spirit is the mutual embrace between Father and Son.   A key element to our sanctification—being holy as God is holy-- depends on our union, closeness, and intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

Baptism results in an extraordinary bestowal of supernatural blessings.  To mention a few of these blessings and gifts are the following: Entrance into God’s Trinitarian family, freedom from Original  Sin, reception of  faith, hope and charity (the theological virtues), justice, temperance prudence and fortitude (the moral/cardinal virtues), as well as the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This of course includes the reception of sanctifying grace, meaning union in Friendship with God and the right to receive graces and  inspirations from the Holy Spirit.  Our growth in holiness is more the work of God than our work. However, we must collaborate with God’s grace and His heavenly inspirations to arrive at holiness of life, happiness in this life and heaven as our reward!

Therefore, what might be some inspirations that God in His infinite goodness might deign to send us?   Where? When? How often?  What manner? How might these heavenly inspirations from the Holy Spirit visit us?

Our antennae might be broken, tilted, rusty, wrongly located--- if so, the antennae will not pick up the “waves” that it should be picking up.  Either the antennae should be repaired, or simply restored for a new one.

Likewise, we must have our “Spiritual antennae” polished, renewed, adjusted, renovated, and centrally located so as to receive  the “Heavenly waves”--- that is to say, the inspirations that come from the Holy Spirit.

Father Jacques Philippe recounts an example in his life, when arriving home after an exhausting retreat, he was heading for his room to retire, but suddenly a thought came to him in these gentle but insistent words:  “Come to the chapel to visit me for a short time!”  His weariness resisted and resulted in this thought:  “If I do not have enough rest, tomorrow will be difficult!”  The voice insisted!  Fr. Jacque capitulated, made a short but warm visit  with Jesus.  The result of this visit was a peaceful and good night’s rest, consolation upon rising and renewed energy the whole of the following day!

There we have it!  An inspiration from the Holy Spirit, discernment, battle to accept or reject, finally acceptance and compliance with the inspiration. Reward!  A peaceful night’s rest, consolation and spiritual energy the following day!

All of us, in one way or another, can identify with this case-scenario of Fr. Jacques. Sometimes we have collaborated and said “Yes” to the inspiration resulting in peace; unfortunately, at times due to our selfishness, laziness and obstinacy have said “No!’ resulting in desolation in our souls!

The following are some inspirations that may come our way! Let us beg Mary—who always said “Yes” to God, that we would give our “Fiat!”

1.    PRAYER!  In the midst of your busy schedule, you hear an interior voice that invites you to say a short prayer to the Lord. This short aspiration can keep the fire of God’s love burning in your heart.  The Hail Mary; Glory  Be; Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I love you, save souls.   These can be those short fiery darts that can pierce the Heart of God and keep the fire of God’s love burning in your heart!

2.     SACRIFICE! Rise 5 minutes earlier to pray more, avoid responding when it would be fruitless in a difficult conversation, deny yourself of that extra cookie, smile despite your headache and weariness.  Often the Holy Spirit will inspire small sacrifices that can be applied for the conversion of sinners!

3.     SILENCE!  Radio, music, TV. --- all clamor for your time, attention and energy! Maybe the Holy Spirit—indeed He is a jealous lover—desires your heart to be in silence so that He can speak to you.  “I will take you to the desert and speak to your heart.” (Hosea).

4.    FORGIVENESS!  A relationship has been damaged due to pride; your heart is not at peace.  The Biblical passage on leaving your gift and reconciling with your brother keeps ringing in your mind! Reconcile! Ask for forgiveness!  Be humble as Jesus was meek and humble of heart!

5.    LISTEN!   Somebody is speaking and going on and on….. However, interiorly, the Holy Spirit is prompting you with these thoughts: “This person is lonely and hurting and has nobody else but you; listen attentively and support!  Remember two weeks earlier, somebody listened attentively to you with your endless words and problems!

6.    KNEEL DOWN!   While praying and dozing off, you feel an interior nudge: “Kneel down and pray fervently!” Comfort, complacency, ease, laziness, the law of doing “The minimum” is knocking at your door!  Resist and fight!

7.     HOLY HOUR OF 66 MINUTES!  Lately you have been tempted to abbreviate your Holy Hour to 55 minutes.  The inspiration comes, extend the Holy Hour an extra six minutes!  The victory accomplished!  You experience joy and peace the rest of the day.  God cannot be outdone in generosity!

8.     TRANSPARENCY IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION.  The temptation is to hide, camouflage, to color it a different hue, to be vague and evasive.   All the above frustrates the living out of Rule 13 of the Rules for Discernment, which is to be open, honest and transparent to one’s spiritual director. Whereas the devil thrives in lurking in the cloud of secrecy!  The Holy Spirit prompts us with inspirations to be open, humble and sincere!

9.    SUFFER IN SILENCE!  Somebody at work, at school, at home bothers you due to some mannerism, idiosyncrasy, or nervous habit.  Your tendency is to be sharp and to rebuke. However, the Holy Spirit, in this case is prompting you to suffer in silence for the salvation of sinners and to repare for your own past sins!

10. FRATERNAL CORRECTION.  In another circumstance, somebody is acting inappropriately and could easily cause scandal, resulting in spiritual damage to the innocent and a considerable number of persons.  Find the time, the place, the manner, the tone of voice and the proper words to intervene with a “Fraternal correction”.  Remember the words of St. James:  “My brothers, if anyone should stray from the truth and someone bring him back; he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5: 19-20)

 Speak O Lord for your servant is listening!  Lord give me an open and attentive heart to your heavenly inspirations.  Mary, help me to be silent, like you, to listen attentively and to respond generously!